Portland Timbers Champion Children with Learning Challenges

Portland Timbers Champion Children with Learning Challenges

Struggling readers will be paired with mentors and assistive technology through a unique program that advances educational equity for underserved children.

May 2,  2019 (Portland, OR)The Shadow Project, a Portland nonprofit committed to making school more accessible and engaging for children with disabilities, has received a grant of $8,400 grant from the Portland Timbers Community Fund of the Oregon Community Foundation. The grant will expand a Reading Mentors program through which elementary students who are reading up to three behind grade level have increased as much as two years in reading proficiency.

“Equitable education in childhood leads to better health throughout a person’s life,” said Michael Reyes, NWHF Community Engagement Officer. “Too often, children of color, children from families struggling to make ends meet, and children with disabilities don’t receive an equitable education. That’s why we’re excited to fund The Shadow Project.”

The Shadow Project will harness the strengths of opportunity communities to make school an inclusive place where children with conditions such as dyslexia, ADHD, and autism can thrive and belong. In Oregon, 79% of children with disabilities do not meet the milestone of third-grade reading proficiency that predicts high school graduation.

“Parent voice is urgently needed to increase educational equity for these promising students,”

said Shadow Project Executive Director Christy Scattarella. “This project will build the leadership capacity of parents to drive our program delivery and create a unified voice for change.” The organization will convene at least two community gatherings that bring together Shadow’s network of parents and educators with organizations that have their own strong networks of parent advocates, including Decoding Dyslexia Oregon.

The Portland Timbers Community Fund harnesses the power of sport to improve the lives of children and families through targeted programs, deep partnerships and philanthropic giving. The fund’s priority in the area of education is for all students to read proficiently by third grade, fostering a lifetime love of learning and literacy in local children.

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